It's easy for many of us to take a trusty pair of shoes for granted. But at Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church in northwest Lincoln, they really do live up to their name because, through their Kicks For Kids project, they bring a spirit of hope to every child that doesn't have to sit out of recess because they're embarrassed about their shoes.
Heather Ladman says, "The mission of our congregation is to bring Christ's love to life, that's what we feel we're called to do."
Kicks for Kids got started back in 2011 and Heather says initially, the modest goal of this project was to provide an underprivileged group of Belmont Elementary students with 200 pairs of new shoes, "The money came in and God's vision was so much larger we took on, I believe 3 more schools that year, the first year in 2011."
Fast forward to the present and this school year, Kicks for Kids donated $10,000 worth of shoes to students in eleven elementary schools.
Becky Mantonya is a Kicks for Kids team leader, "As an ELL teacher I have students that have come from Mexico, from all over the world and a pair of shoes are like, 'Wow, I'm a faster runner now 'and their self-confidence was lifted just because they had a pair of brand-new shoes that fit them and wasn't held together with duct tape, didn't have holes in it, wasn't an older brothers, it was their shoes."
Spirit of Hope Church is now catering to the needs of eleven Lincoln-area elementary schools. But with more than 30 elementary school in Lincoln, Spirit of Hope is hoping that other organizations or congregations might feel called to pick up the needs of a school.